[M20] Standard Scapeshift

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR “CORE SET 2020” – IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO SEE SPOILERS, CLICK AWAY NOW.

Welcome! Sushi here, and today I present a rendition of Scapeshift in Standard! This deck is heavily inspired by the Scapeshift Valakut Dredge deck in Modern – and functions pretty similarly! But instead of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, instead the aim of the deck is to use one of the new M20 cards – Dread Presence to use Swamps, to ping your opponents for life!

The new Valakut sure excites me!

Why Scapeshift?

At my first Modern FNM, I turned up rocking 12 Bolt, created by Relekkam and Deck Teched by Seth, Probably Better Known As “Seth, Probably Better Known As “SaffronOlive”” (I had to, I’m sorry :P) – with no clue of how the modern format worked at that point. On the night, I mostly faced burn, except for one combo deck – Scapeshift. What I didn’t know is that in the first game, I had a huge advantage compared to my opponent, and used a Gut Shot for a prowess trigger – paying the Phyrexian Mana Cost rather than retail.

I paid for that mistake, as that made it way easier for Valakut to kill me – and that game always sticks in my head as my first true Modern learning experience. Because of that, I’ve always wanted to work out Scapeshift in Standard (with Scapeshift being in M19, rotating out when set “Archery” comes out in the Autumn).

Finally, it has arrived!

The Deck

Standard Scapeshift

Creatures (9)
Dread Presence
World Shaper
Tatyova, Benthic Druid
Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar

Planeswalkers (6)
Jace, Wielder of Mysteries
Tamiyo, Collector of Tales

Spells (17)
Spell Pierce
Growth Spiral
Kamahl's Druidic Vow
Circuitous Route
Scapeshift
Scheming Symmetry

Enchantments (2)
The Mending of Dominaria
Lands (26)
Breeding Pool
Forest
Island
Overgrown Tomb
Swamp
Watery Grave

Sideboard (15)
Cast Down
Cry of the Carnarium
Leyline of the Void
Sorcerous Spyglass
The Immortal Sun
Thrashing Brontodon
Vraska's Contempt

Maybeboard (16)
Arboreal Grazer
Assassin's Trophy
Deathsprout
Elvish Rejuvenator

(Some of the cards won’t appear until they’re uploaded on Deckbox – so I’ll have to just post images for those of you reading before the release of M20.)

The deck wants to ramp into Dread Presence at around turn 3 or 4, using Growth Spiral (and Arboreal Grazer from the maybeboard: which Maringam from the Discord server suggested to be used – but I don’t know how to include it yet) to get extra lands in (to help with the final goal, too), so you can combo off on turn 5 or six. The deck isn’t very consistent yet, however, but I’ll make sure to update it with new cards from the set, through testing – I do have a few cards in the maybeboard that can help with the goal, so feel free to try out some of those cards and get back to me about how they turned out!

The creatures in the deck are all ‘lands matters’ creatures – with Tatyova, Benthic Druid letting you draw more fuel with every land – combining well with Dread Presence’s draw function. World Shaper fills up your graveyard with lands, lets you return creatures, and recurs all the lands from your graveyard to the battlefield upon death, bringing back all the lands sacrificed with Scapeshift also. Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar lets you have a secondary payoff – a 25/25 Multani won me the game against Esper Spirits due to its sheer force!

Tamiyo, Collector of Tales fills up your graveyard, and brings back important cards – so she’s a really impressive engine to the deck! She makes a lot of the deck function, and also stops edict effects (such as Liliana’s Triumph) and discard effects such as the dreaded Thought Erasure (which is also a great addition to the deck if you want to make it more control based and less combo based). Jace, Wielder of Mysteries is also a good engine – he lets you Thought Scour once per turn, is an alt win condition with his Laboratory Maniac effect – and also lets you get free Demonic Tutors off of Scheming Symmetry – a new card from M20, which is insanely good with Thought Scour due to the fact you can draw what you tutored and mill what they tutored!

This card is insanely overpowered if you know how to use it correctly…

The rest of the deck just allows you to get more value out of mana, and protect your core pieces. Within the sideboard, there’s Leyline of the Void, which is thankfully being reprinted in M20, to stop Arclight Phoenix and Rekindling Phoenix decks – there’s Vraska’s Contempt and The Immortal Sun to deal with Esper Teferi Tribal (which is the best deck right now – oddly enough), and the rest to deal with general decks of different types.

I’m currently testing this deck, to try to figure out how to make it better and more consistent, so expect a new update in the wake of M20’s release – but it does work decently, especially against fairer decks (pinging Knights in Knight Tribal with Dead Presence makes for a fun time) – however there is a long way to go with this deck! I wanted to make this as soon as possible though, since I love the idea and wanted to share it!

Thank you so much for reading though! Make sure to tweet your thoughts @manasculptors or @sushiske on Twitter! Making this deck work would be amazing, and I’d love to hear what you think should go next! But until next time, bye!
—Sushiske

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